The Stardust Hotel was a legendary hotel in Las Vegas, with an iconic sign, distinctive building, and playing host to scores of famous acts down the ages. Until, that is, it was demolished in March 2007. Now, it’s just a heap of smouldering rubble, waiting for the new $4 billion Echelon Place to be constructed over its ruins.
This photo set, and others in our new Changing Vegas gallery, shows just how quickly the landscape of Vegas changes. The photo on the left was taken in April 2006, and shows The Stardust in all its glory, standing proudly beneath a glorious blue sky. Fast forward a year, and all that’s left is a smouldering heap of rubble – even the sky’s turned grey! The Stardust is no more, but from its ashes will rise the huge new Echelon Place. Another Vegas icon bites the dust, only to be resurrected as another Vegas mega-resort.
The photo on the left was again taken in April 2006, when The Stardust was still very much alive (though not sure if the same could be said for Debbie Reynolds!). The Wynn stands proudly as a shining beacon of modernity, without any neighbours of note, while the world-famous iconic Stardust sign was proudly telling the world that Debbie Reynolds had not, in fact, left the building (though hopefully she did before they imploded it!).
Again, fast forward a year, and The Stardust’s famous sign is now just a battered shell of its former glory, while The Wynn finds itself with new neighbours hastily being constructed, in the form of The Encore at Wynn (in front of The Wynn) and The Palazzo (behind).
Such is the pace of construction around the north end of the Vegas strip, that I’ve no idea what to expect when I return next year. The Palazzo is meant to be finished at the end of 2007 (though some doubt it will make this deadline), while the Encore at Wynn is scheduled to open at the end of 2008.
Meanwhile, the 5,280 room Echelon Place, the new $4 billion mega resort that’s being built on the ashes of The Stardust, isn’t due to open until 2010, but you can bet that this time next year, work will be well underway.
Vegas seems to be a different town every time you go, which can make for an unnerving visit at times, but certainly makes your pics more interesting. Sometimes it’s almost as though you only need to set your camera looking at a building dor a day or two before someone comes along and demolishes it!
You can see more photos of The Stardust before and after its implosion in the Stardust/Echelon Place gallery, which shows the pics above in much bigger format.